whirligirl mobilizing...

who's excited about Al Gore?
Q Yes, Al Gore/Joe Lieberman are very exciting, relative to the only realistic alternative, the oil industry boys.

The following op-ed piece from last Thursday's NY Times eloquently covers one of the reasons why. (Copied with implicit permission of the author.)

Nader's Threat to the Environment

August 10, 2000

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Ralph Nader is my friend and hero, but his Green Party candidacy for the presidency could torpedo efforts to address the nation's most important environmental challenges.
The threat, of course, is that Mr. Nader's candidacy could siphon votes from Al Gore, the environment's most visible champion since Theodore Roosevelt, and lead to the election of George W. Bush.

Mr. Nader dismisses his spoiler role by arguing that there is little distinction between the major parties' candidates and that Mr. Gore has compromised on too many issues. While I admire Mr. Nader's high-minded ideals, his suggestion that there is no difference between Mr. Gore and Mr. Bush is irresponsible.

On the environment, the difference is fundamental. It reaches deep into their philosophies and records, showing most recently in their choices of running mates: Dick Cheney's anti-environmental
votes in Congress extended even to opposing the Clean Water Act, while Joe Lieberman has staunchly supported strong environmental legislation and even written it.

While environmentalists have had their disappointments with the Clinton administration, they need to keep their perspective.

Mr. Gore, more than anyone else, deserves credit for rallying conservationists and fortifying President Clinton to repulse the Gingrich Congress' efforts to eviscerate 30 years of environmental law.

He helped persuade Mr. Clinton to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in a standoff that led to shutdown of the government -- a risky gambit that, unpredictably, also paid off politically.

Mr. Gore also fought for tough clean air rules, secured more financing for programs like energy conservation
research and successfully promoted many measures to preserve diminishing wild areas.

He has risked heavy criticism for his support of the Kyoto agreement to limit global warming, and his book "Earth in the Balance" is an ambitious blueprint for the environmental movement.

For his efforts, Mr. Gore has earned the enmity of the polluters and their political spokesmen, including Mr. Bush and his father, who christened Mr. Gore "Ozone Man" to ridicule his concern for
clean air.

Governor Bush, by contrast, has a famously abysmal environmental record, made all the more objectionable by his attempts to deny it.

His appointees to Texas environmental agencies come from the chemical and oil industries. He has allowed Texas' biggest polluters, his contributors, to write environmental laws that make
compliance voluntary. Texas under his leadership is 49th in the nation in per capita environmental spending.

In a change that seemed impossible just five years ago, Houston has now surpassed long-suffering Los Angeles as the smoggiest city. Texas now claims the country's highest levels of air and water pollution and toxic releases.

Governor Bush has promised to hand over the Arctic Refuge to the oil industry, dilute the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, and lift protections on public lands.

With clean air programs already under assault from conservative judicial activists, he praises the
anti-environmental decisions of Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. Whatever his litmus test for court appointments, it almost certainly won't include a positive record on the

And Mr. Bush favors the current system of campaign finance, which puts inordinate power in the hands of polluters.

Incredibly, Mr. Nader has said that, if forced to choose, he would vote for Mr. Bush -- presumably as more likely to cause a backlash in the environment's favor.

In fact, a vote for Mr. Nader is a vote for Mr. Bush, and environmentalists who join his personal crusade risk marginalizing the conservation movement.

Al Gore's eight years as vice-president have mainly tested his loyalty. As president, he will at last have the opportunity to carry out his own environmental vision.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is the president of the Water Keeper Alliance and a lawyer for the Natural Resources Defense Council.
grendel more fodder for the cannonball i plan to lauch up charlton_heston's_ass

amy yeah, but what is the biggest opposition to environmental legislation? corporate sponsorship of our government. what does Gore say about that? who's taking care of all the frills and thrills at the Democratic National Convention next week? 000812
Q I think you need to think more carefully about your question.

In the real world, not the rarified one Mr. Nader and his supporters seem to be tripping in, support for Nader is nothing but support for Bush/Cheney, the corporate oil-industry boys who've made their political careers partly on raping the environment.

It would really be very nice if all of us could be so comfortable as Mr. Nader - and the vast majority of his current supporters - and live in the rarified, typically also academic, world of pontification where it might not matter very much if Bush becomes president! (Emphasize "might.")

If only we could get through life asking overly simple, half-questions! As Mr. Nader has become wont to do since he decided, again on a whim like in '96, that it would be fun to run for president to try to stick it to his friends who've had the courage and tenacity to work in the real world of politics.

The real world where things are messy and not always the way we would like them to be.

Yes, there is far too much corporate influence at the Democratic Convention.
But why are you not also asking about the Republican? Please, give me a break!

In the real world, there is a signifcant faction in the Democratic Party that is upset at the corporate influence and working to reduce it. Gore pays attention to this faction, because he needs to. Probably not enough, but some. The Republican Party has no such faction; it is lock, stock and barrel owned by the military-corporate complex, except for the part owned by the religious right.

And in the real world what Nader is doing is helping to elect Bush/Cheney!

I think you need to rethink your question.

Actually, to avoid continuing to look like a duplicitous fool, I think Nader should drop out of the race and endorse Gore. But, sadly, to expect such a thing, that would be desirable for Nader, the country and the world, would be unreal.
amy my question was, what would Gore do to *really* push environmental legislation. not who would be the worst environmentalist.
i don't think Nader wants Bush to win. Nader knows he won't win. Nader wants a better debate. so do i.
Nader would do well to say
"hey, i'm not stealing anything. if you like Al Gore, vote for Al Gore. in fact, i want you to, so Bush doesn't win." that's what Michael Moore said, anyway. i don't see how it's inconsistent.
Q Beyond the fact that that's nopt what you said, this "all we really want is a debate" business is inconsistent with political reality.

First, it's inconsistent with reality because Nader is not saying it. He's saying "Vote for me."

Second, it's inconsistent with reality because Nader's campaign, trying to get not debates but votes for Nader (who will be lucky to get 5 % of the popular vote, all from Gore) benefits Bush directly and makes it more likely everything that Nader SAYS he stands for, environmentally, in consumer protection, in hemming in the influence of corporate money, and other areas, will be completely ignored or obliterated.
amy politics is about winning, then? in that case, i'm not going to vote at all. 000814
filia why does it matter who wins the election?... we'll only blow ourselves up in the end...that's if we don't run out of clean air and suffocate first...who knows what will happen... expect nothing and get what you expect...that's fromt the wheel of time...o yeah... 000905
splinken this kid i know wants to set up his own shooting range and lob bullets at paper cut-outs of our man ralphie.

i support ralph wiggum, myself.
fortwoitis i received some politician's grand
plan in the mailbox, but there wasn't
even a return address on it.
Can't vote for someone who hides
kreeyiss hey q
maybe you don't understand what it means to vote for something you believe in.... maybe you are sedated like all the others by mind raping talking heads on the o'reily factor...

when i vote for nader in nov..

nobody seems to understand that a vote for bush is only a vote for bush if you check his name...
fuck bush, and fuck gore...
YES, Gore is the most environmentally minded politician in DC, but what exactly does that show?
it shows are best hopes for change coming within DC are shit...

i wouldn't even vote if nader didn't run.
what are you all so afraid of, do you think that Bush, if he does win, can just walk into the white hous and start fucking up america automatically...
like he's gonna go in there and say,"Hmmm. how can I make the wealthy wealthier, in what way can we become rulers of the planet.."
i'll tell you staight up... anything Bush does in the next 4 years is most likely already planned and waiting to go, just needs a stamp of approval...
and you know what else, if he does something insane like appoint sup. justices that overturn Roev Wade, ther will be MAJOR SOCIAL DISRUPTION... look at the demonstrations of the 60's, look at what's going on now: there is a new generation of us young'ns who aren't gonna sit back and take this shit, look at seatle, look at prague, it's not just in the US, it is all over the world, people are starting to think about waking up to the fact we've been getting run like slaves for a hundred years.... if Bush gets elected, people are gonna wake up fast, and we are all gonna be pissed off,
i'm surprised Bush supports the NRA, cuz he'll get capped of faster and louder than kennedy, except it'll actually be by the people, instead of the government.

so, in conclusion: i'm voting nader,
not BUSH, not GORE... nader isn't stealing my vote from gore, he is earning it... if that scares all you pacified fucking "liberals" that bush might win cuz gore won't, I guess ya better get off yer ass in a hurry and paint yourself green,...
by the way, GORE is trying to steal votes from Nader by using scare tactics
and subliminal media mind control

when is the last time you saw a nader commercial again?
Q kreyiss,

I live in the real world, and it is there that Gore has earned my vote.

The only thing that bothers me now is that, over a lifetime of political activism, I have seen nothing to make me confident that I will see you, or most of those who feel the way you do, in the streets if your unreal self-righteuosness forces me out there again.

anonymous dissident My vote was never Gore's; he did not have a divine right to it, nor did he earn it with his support for the bombings of Yugoslavia and Iraq, NAFTA and GATT, totalitarian "antiterrorism" legislation, the death penalty, or his half-assed pseudo-environmentalism.

I voted for Nader. And I'm not sorry. So there.

This assumes that all votes are counted in this country. And we know, for a fact, that they are not. Even the mainstream media has reported that Republicans got possibly Democratic votes thrown out in Florida and Democrats got possibly Republican absentee and military votes thrown out. 5400 more votes were tossed out, again in Florida, due to a computer error not allowing people who made mistakes to revote. Votes were just plain lost in various states. Some media even mentioned in passing that some police blocked some minorities from the polls, again in Florida, but that wasn't as big a scandal as confusingly arranged ballots for obvious diversionary reasons.

Notice how much of that occured in the state Governed by the brother of the guy who won thanks to that state's Electoral College votes. The Electoral College actually votes for the President, not us. And when the popular vote started getting too much scrutiny the conservative Supreme Court stepped in and stopped the recount. The Republicans "stole" the "election," remember?

So, less of a reason for hypocritical Democrats to kick the weaker Greens while bending over for the apparently somewhat stronger Republicans. We don't even know for certain who actually won the popular vote.

But, bending over is exactly what the Democratic Party seems to be doing. It hasn't, as a party, called on the restoration of the safety-net the last President, theirs, dismantled while sending jobs over borders. It hasn't called for the removal of US troops from the rest of the world's business. It hasn't called for the end of the crypto-fascistically successful War on Drugs. It hasn't called for the end of environment destroying "economic growth."

Nonetheless, certain allegedly left liars-by-omission continue to spend almost as much time calling Nader and the Greens names as they do criticizing the Bush Administration -- even in such somewhat respectable media as The Nation and formerly respectable media as Pacifica Radio. The question that arises is if this is because these certain pundits and letter writers are cowards or because they are quislings. Do they just want to strike out in confused and impotent rage at someone who is weaker, or are they intentionally confusing the issue by insisting corporate-prostitute-Democrats are the alternative to corporate-protitute-Republicans? When they suggest Nader and the Greens should be deprived of their rights to run or vote or even speak the truth, they unintendedly reveal that they are not really concerned with the people but rather with the maintainance of the system and it's power elite.

"But certainly Gore would've been better than Bush on the environment!"

If that statement is true, it's not saying much. Compare Gore's actual envioronmental proposals with those outlined by real environmental scientists. The scientists say that greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced by 70-90% to slow (not stop) global climate change. Knowing that, Gore, in his Kyoto Protocol, called for a reduction of 7%.

Gore promised big business he would block any regulations they objected of. He insisted on "flexibility" and the inclusion of "market mechanisms." And afterwards corporate mouthpieces called Gore an environmental extremist!

Don't just wring your hands over the Bush II administration's behavior. Compare it, point by point, to the Clinton administration and you will find little difference, right down to the arsenic which Clinton let remain in our water for the last 8 years, only signing in his last days an order that it be removed, and then only by 2004. He was just trying to make himself look progressive. But if you go back further, you will find that in many instances Bush I's administration was actually more environmental than Clinton's, which was the first in 20 years to not demand higher fuel efficiency standards.

Where was "Ozone Man?"

As has been said, "only Nixon can go to China." Apparently only liberal Democrats could've so effectively inaugurated global lassiez-faire capitalism.

Nader has called "the lesser of two evils" "the evil of two lessers." This sounds funnier than it actually is. Assuming for the sake of argument that the Democrats are less evil than the Republicans, they are still evil. By voting for them one votes for evil.
But more perniciously, the "lesser of two evils" argument can be used ad nauseum. Each time the lesser evil is elected, more subtle damage is done, and next time we are presented with the same good cop/bad cop routine. Things get worse only more slowly, and, like a frog in a pot, we are less likely to notice our environment is getting hotter and jump out. We will get cooked and eaten nonetheless. This is what the establishment calls "stability."

So by voting for the "lesser of two evils," things are guaranteed to get worse. Nothing will be really solved. There is no way out of the loop besides refusing to cooperate at a much more basic level, and at some point opting for a third course of action. And the sooner the better.

Finally, lest anyone forget, the two major parties, through their elite, indirect, and selective nomination processes, decide who we get to vote for. And the supposedly unbiased media repeatedly tell us that the only two legitimate candidates are those of the two parties who are funded by the very same corporations who pay the media's salaries through advertising. And these corporations contribute equally, on average, to both parties.

The system is intentionally set up to exclude and disempower those who wish to reform, change, or get rid of it. And it does that job quite well.

If Nader was such a threat to Progressivism and a benefit to Conservatism, why then did the Republicans join the Democrats in blocking Nader from the debates by force?

The answer is simple. The two major parties are in cahoots, as any person outside the U.S. who has been screwed over by U.S. bipartisan agreement can tell you. Even some of the people screwed over in this country see it. But far too many, locked in dualistic black and white thinking, identify one major party or the other as The Good Guys by default, because The Other Party is evil. Then they identify with the Good Guys like teams in a sport and not with whatever principles they may or may not espouse, let alone follow. After all, Good Guys by definition can do no wrong.

But massive "scandals" like Iran-Contra-Mena-South Central could not have happened if an organization as powerful as the Democratic or Republican party was against them.

So basically, this country is neither a democracy nor a republic. True change will never come through the ballot box, at least not by it alone. Let the truth be told though the heavens fall.

And, by the way, people who don't vote do have a right to complain.

Nonetheless, I voted for Nader. And I'm not sorry. So there.
Effingham Fish You had me, right up until that next to last paragraph. Even so, you've still got me, but I think those who are so apathetic as to not even make the slightest of efforts to change their surroundings deserve whatever they get, but then, I'm not always very nice. 020113
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